News: Cyber threat up during COVID-19, but Singapore companies are insufficiently prepared

Technology

Cyber threat up during COVID-19, but Singapore companies are insufficiently prepared

Senior decision makers in Singapore are expressing heightened concerns about cyber attacks during COVID-19, but the findings of the latest CrowdStrike survey on cybersecurity at work indicate that companies are not prepared to deal with the threat.
Cyber threat up during COVID-19, but Singapore companies are insufficiently prepared

Senior decision makers in Singapore believe that their companies are more likely to experience a serious cyber-attack during COVID-19, according to the findings of CrowdStrike's Work Security Index survey. It is a justified fear: cybersecurity companies around the world, including CrowdStrike itself, have observed a massive increase in cyber attacks since the pandemic began to spread globally in February. There has been no sign of the threat abating, and with remote work becoming the norm, the risk is higher than ever before.

In Singapore, CrowdStrike found that 74 percent of respondents are working remotely more often than before as a direct result of the pandemic, the highest percentage among all the countries covered by the research. The other countries surveyed are Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan, Netherlands, and the US. But this large transition to remote work has not been accompanied by a proportionate improvement in cybersecurity. 70 percent of remote workers in Singapore are using their personal devices for work, and these devices frequently do not conform to their organization's security requirements. 56 percent of those who use their personal devices admitted in the survey that the devices they use for WFH are only "somewhat secure", and 12 percent actually rated their devices "not very secure" or even "not secure at all"!

What is more, many Singapore employers do not seem to be up to speed either. 40 percent of remote workers said their companies had not given them training on the cybersecurity risks associated with WFH, and the number jumped to 61 percent for small businesses.

Sherif El-Nabawi, VP of Systems Engineering, APJ at CrowdStrike, recommends that organizations should factor remote working into their cybersecurity policies, from the use of personal devices and the data privacy implications of employee access to documents. In an article written for People Matters in mid-April—the same time that theWork Security Index survey was being conducted—he had already highlighted the need for employers to educate their remote workers on cybersecurity considerations.

With Singapore being among the most cyber-attacked countries in the world even before COVID-19, employers in the city-state really need to ramp up their focus on security and cyber protection.

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Topics: Technology, #Cybersecurity

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